WSV Columnist Amy East writes, “In researching my own genealogy, I’ve found a number of ancestors who fought for the idea that all men were created equal in the American Revolution, and some that owned slaves. The movement of my ancestors to Cass County was very near to the time the Potawatomi were forcibly removed. Were they involved? I don’t know. Did they benefit? Without a doubt. But just because this knowledge might make me uncomfortable, or challenge how I’d like to see myself, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. When you ask ‘what did you learn that you didn’t know before?’ you don’t get to choose if that knowledge aligns with your worldview. That’s the cost of curiosity, my friend.”

Michigan Advance’s David Hecker writes, “Michigan can and should be a place where every child, regardless of race or ZIP code, has the opportunity to get a quality public education that will set them on a path to success. But we’re not there yet, and it is incumbent on all of us to do the work necessary to strengthen public schools for all students, and specifically to ensure our classrooms are safe, empowering spaces for Black, Indigenous and other students of color.”

WSV’s Amy East writes, “Two years ago when we bought our place in beautiful Cass County, I dove into the county’s and my own family’s history, discovering that my ties to the area went deeper than I’d known. There is a richness to the county’s intertwined Potawatomi, European, and African American history that I’d never learned in school, or maybe never appreciated.

“Earlier this year, the Cass County Board of Commissioners saw fit to appoint me to the Historical Commission. As part of the publications committee, I’ll be editing and updating books that share our history with anyone who cares to read about it. Will there be an opportunity for more archaeology, maybe here at home? I’d like to think so, I hope so. There are many, many questions to be answered and stories to be told. Give me a couple years and we’ll see what I can do.”

On this day in 1606, in Westminster Hall, eight men stood trial for their participation in the Gunpowder Plot. These men, and a number of other religious extremists, sought to blow up Parliament, kill King James I, Queen Anne, and Prince Charles, and place 9-year-old Princess Elizabeth on the throne in an attempt to gain support and undo laws that all but outlawed Roman Catholicism in the country.

Three Rivers functions in much the same way that it has for years. People still work in specific places that everyone knows about. The town’s citizens shop in stores and visit businesses where they are as likely as not to see someone they know. They take part in social and civic activities and groups, some of which have been around for quite a while. Whether we are aware of it or not, life in Three Rivers centers on its factories, which have changed a lot over time, but which have set many of the same economic and social patterns for generations.

“Studying the past can be a tricky thing. We can quantify data, put events on a timeline, and use any number of tools to see how the world we live in today has unfolded, to see how different events impacted one another, to look for patterns, and to use the lessons therein to make decisions about the future. However, in everyday life, while we may look at past events in passing, we rarely consider them methodically.”